Joeckel to discuss Keystone Pipeline at SNR fall seminar

Matt Joeckel
Matt Joeckel

Matt Joeckel, professor and research geologist in the Conservation and Survey Division at the School of Natural Resources, will present "The Keystone Pipeline: Observations on Geology, Society and the Nebraska Geological Survey" at 3:30 p.m., Nov. 13 in 107 Hardin Hall (auditorium). The seminar is free and open to the public.

Fact, fiction, emotion, and public interest have converged upon the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. It is certainly the most broadly discussed environmental issue in Nebraska in recent years and it bears implications nationwide, if not globally, for many decades into the future. Although opinions about the pipeline itself are abundant and readily exchanged in various media, it appears that geologic facts relevant to the subject are in short supply and generally misconstrued, if they are not outrightly distorted.

The proposed route of the Keystone XL Pipeline crosses a surprising diversity of geological, geomorphic, hydrogeological, and soil settings in Nebraska, all of which are only partially characterized. In fact, Nebraska's largely uncelebrated geology is highly significant from standpoints ranging from the local to the global.

Furthermore, from the perspective of societal needs, Nebraska's most current environmental dialog actually reflects much larger and longer-term issues: (1) the public's "appreciation gap" with respect to the solid Earth and the dire need for public education and engagement in geology and the adjunct Earth sciences; and (2) the necessity of maintaining and improving objective, regional geoscience data-collection, research, and engagement in the best interests of the citizenry.

Joeckel returned to his hometown of Lincoln in 2000 to work for the Conservation and Survey Division at UNL. He has a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Iowa and was also educated at UNL, the University of Kansas, the University of Florida and Iowa State University. He was also a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Tennessee and he is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.

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